TODAY ON AGDAY
FEBRUARY 27, 2012
Good morning everyone. Last November President Obama signed into law a spending bill that restores the American horse-slaughter industry. In 2006, congress took away funding for inspections. Without those inspections, the meat-for-consumption could not be sold. Most of that meat was shipped to Europe and Asia. But the domestic ban did not end horse slaughter. Instead it moved to Mexico and Canada. Now, a company called "Unified Equine" hopes to build a processing plant in Missouri. Linda Russell from AgDay affiliate KY3TV has our story. That's Linda Russell reporting. Linda says unified equine would distribute the horse meat to domestic, ethnic, specialty and gourmet markets here in the United States and across the world. While horse meat for human consumption is not widely accepted in this country, it is acceptable in other countries. Is it a necessary system? We would like to hear from you about this issue. Send your comments to the AgDay inbox...or join the conversation on Facebook.
Meanwhile, the debate over a proposed ban on conventional cages for laying hens is also heating-up. Last Friday on AgDay, you met Indiana egg producer Bob Krouse. Krouse negotiated with the Humane Society of the United States on a proposed law that would change conventional cages used by a majority of the nation's egg producers. Many livestock groups are opposed to the bill. As president of 'The United Egg Producers' Trade Organization, Krouse felt he needed to cross "traditional barriers" to reach an agreement with HSUS. We received numerous comments to the AgDay inbox.
HEN CAGES INBOX:
Richard House from Illinois says, “If this country wants to see another entire industry "exported" or chased away from this country, then just keep thinking you can deal with yet another loud, persistent and obnoxious activist group!"
Tom Jacques from Missouri says "The Humane Society poking its nose into chicken housing will result in a mortally wounded industry." he adds that it'll create another "Federal agency regally ruled by beltway rubes who wouldn't know that potatoes don't grow on bushes."
And 17 year-old Landon Fox of Illinois farms with his grandfather. He says "It's easy for someone to sit down and say "this, this, and this needs to change" when in reality they don't know what they are talking about to begin with." And viewer Kurt Bachman says the proposed legislation is ridiculous. He says "What's next? Maybe 3 bedroom, 2 bath homes for all cattle? Or maybe we can propose that all fish must live in distilled water - no impurities allowed." Our thanks to everyone for writing to us. Later this week, we'll share some of the comments regarding the Missouri horse slaughter plant.
CATTLE ON FEED:
In other news, the latest cattle on feed report shows cattle and calves-on-feed for slaughter in the U.S. are up 2% from a year ago. USDA pegs the total at 11.8 million head. Meanwhile, placements in feedlots during January are down 2% from the same period last year, totaling 1.9 million head.
USDA AG OUTLOOK:
USDA's top economist expects a significant increase in u-s corn acreage this year. The Ag Department's Joe Glauber is forecasting 94 million acres. That would be largest plantings since World War II. If the nationwide average hits 164-bushels to the acre, production levels would surpass 14 billion bushels for the first time. During its annual outlooks forum, the department expects corn prices will return below five dollars a bushel as they forecast domestic inventories will double to 1.6 billion bushels. USDA expected soybean acres to remain steady from last year at 75 million acres.
www.accuweather.com has released its tornado forecast for 2012. Their weather experts anticipate an active tornado season again this year. In 2011, there were more than 1,700 tornadoes recorded and it ranks as the fourth deadliest season on record. Accuweather expects an above-normal tally this year due in part, to warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.
IN THE COUNTRY; BUY LOCAL:
Lately research of restaurant owners shows that when it comes to the food they prepare and serve, they prefer to buy them from local farmers. That's definitely true in Tennessee as proven by a recent UT Extension research project. Chuck Denney takes us to lunch at a place where locally grown is appreciated by both the cooks and the customers. Thanks Chuck. Still to come, why women may want to enjoy an orange with breakfast and more food companies are targeting specific illnesses in the grocery isle. Food and Your Family is next.
CITRUS AND STROKE:
New research published by the American Heart Association shows women who eat more citrus significantly lower their risk of stroke. That tops today's Food and Your Family. The study was done at the University of East Anglia's Norwich Medical School. They looked at data from nearly 70,000 women over 14 years. What they found was that women who ate more citrus--such as oranges, orange juice or grapefruits--lowered their risk of certain types of stroke by nearly 20%. The researchers say other studies have shown higher fruit, vegetable and vitamin c intake is associated with a lower risk of stroke.
HEALTH TARGETED FOODS:
Citrus companies and many others are touting the specific health benefits of their products. According to packaged facts, more food companies are trying to sell foods based specifically on health issues. And the report says shoppers are willing to pay more for those targeted products. Foods to fight, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes even cancer are being labeled as such. The report says a key to increasing sales is a foods reputation for benefitting health.
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